As the calendar page turns to reveal its fresh, empty blocks which mark the time which lies in front of me, I am struck with a sudden urge to mend my ways. Thoughts of an abundance of healthy, home cooked meals, lots of movement, stacks of new books to read, and an assortment of art supplies get me excited to see what the new year has in store. I like to dream about the New Me that I could become with a little more effort, planning, and self-discipline.
Then the doubt creeps in as I remember the many times in the past when similar thoughts danced through my mind and I failed to follow through. So, often I let the ideas stick around for just a few days and then fade away instead of making the effort to make a plan filled with baby steps that might increase my chances of making these dreams a reality. With each deflated dream, I become increasingly afraid to verbalize my ideas for fear of looking foolish within the first few weeks of my failed “New Year-New Me” efforts. Can you relate to this or am I the only one who falls prey to dreaming and doubting?
Whether you are the type of person who makes resolutions or not, the beginning of the new year is often the time when many of us try to fill in the gaps that we perceive exist between the person that we currently are and the future self that we hope to become. Whether you envision yourself healthier spiritually, physically, or mentally, we need a concrete plan in order for growth to occur; otherwise, we will continue dreaming, doubting, and potentially falling into despair because we can never make forward progress in the direction our hearts are telling us to go.
If you feel called to be a Prayer Warrior, but feel more like you are entering the battlefield with a butter knife— I have something just for you.
When I thought back to the big goals in life that I accomplished, I realized that none of them were achieved because of an idea that I needed to comply with some vague advice to “eat less”, “move more”, “spend less”, or “pray more”. I mean, what does any of that really mean?
No, we are only able to accomplish a goal once we have a concrete idea of what we want to do and a plan to do it. Once the plan is in place and the goal set, it is easier to follow the baby steps required in to reach the goal. As months passed and I marked through the days on my calendar that I stuck to the plan, my identity shifted as a result of what I was doing.
For example, before I ran a marathon, I was a “Wogger”— someone who walked and slowly jogged in equal amounts. While I was training for the marathon, with each early morning step I became stronger and faster, only then did I consider myself a runner. After the second marathon, I adjusted to the idea that I had become a marathoner. (Full disclosure: with age, I have adjusted to being a Walker.)
Many of us would like to experience a deeper peace that we know comes from a more personal, intimate relationship with Christ and are struggle to find the time to invest in figuring out just how to do this. You might have tried to “Pray More” in the past, but were never able to muster the self discipline to stick to your unformed plan. You might also be doubting that there is anything that could help you become the Prayer Warrior that Christ is calling you to become.
To help, I created a downloadable Prayer Journal based upon the first chapter of James. This Journal was designed with you in mind and will help you dive into Scripture this month. There are 15 Journal prompts as well as pages to note down your prayer request helping you keep everything together.
For years, I struggled to develop a prayer routine or habit. I would skip out on the time I had set aside because I was not quite sure what to do with all those minutes. I was intimidated by the process of journaling because I did not want to have the wrong answer. I was also afraid of what would happen if someone read my unformed thoughts and ideas. People would ask me to pray for them and I would promptly forget. I wanted to be a Prayer Warrior but felt more like a Wimp. Not that my prayer was a failure, but more that I, as a Pray-er I was unprepared. I knew there was a gulf between who I was and who I felt called to become and I did not know how to bridge the gap.
After trial and error, over time, I discovered a plan that worked for me.
No longer do I have the sense that I am failing at this essential Soul Tending activity. While each day is different, my Prayer Journal has made a huge difference in my life.
The Prayer Journal pictured above is based upon elements of my own prayer journal that I regularly use and contains everything you need to get started. If you ever skip prayer because you aren’t quite sure what to say or do, if you are at a loss for how to listen to the Lord after you have set forth all of your petitions, or if you are just plain bored with your current prayer resources, print your own Prayer Journal and let me know what you think after you use it for a few days. Grab your bible, some colorful pens, and let me know what you think.
This Prayer Journal is available for free only for Subscribers to Faith Moves Mountains. You can subscribe by clicking on the blue box to the right. Already a subscriber? I included the Prayer Journal in a newslettter that was recently emailed to you. If you did not receive your copy, let me know.
I have already heard from several in the FMM community and have been overwhelmed with the positive feedback. One sweet friend printed a copy for her husband and is looking forward to seeing what the Holy Spirit is going to reveal to them in the coming month.
Once you have a chance to use your journal, please let me know what you think! You can email me at Katie@katiekibbe.com with questions and suggestions or just comment below. I can’t wait to hear from you.
Up Next: 5 Easy Ways to Tend Your Soul